Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Carr Doctrine So Far 2

Dear Bob,

Congratulations on the prime minister's offer of the foreign ministership you just couldn't refuse.

In light of the Carr Doctrine So Far (See my previous post of the same name), which can perhaps accurately be summed up by the expression, Iranian nukes? Bollocks!, can you please, in the name of sanity and Australian independence, pull all stops out NOW to save this unfortunate Australian man from being caught up in the latest round of USraeli military madness currently sweeping the world?:

"If David Levick was a willing participant in the global conspiracy to nuclearise Iran, he was doing a pretty good job of hiding it yesterday. 'I'm as nervous as shit', the Sydney businessman said when The Australian phoned. 'I'm in a sweat and I feel like I should be going out and getting drunk'. (Sanctions? What sanctions? Aussie accused of exporting goods to Iran, Paul Maley, The Australian, 2/3/12)

"Just 20 minutes earlier, Mr Levick learned he had been indicted by US authorities on 5 counts of selling prohibited goods to Iran in defiance of strict US trade restrictions aimed at thwarting Tehran's nuclear weapons aspirations."

I draw your attention to journalist Maley's failure to insert the word 'alleged' before "nuclear weapons aspirations" in the above sentence. But then, that's The Australian for you, right? Remember your own words: "There is only challengeable evidence they are going to get [the bomb] anyway"? (The US under threat, 18/12/11,

"The small businessman, who for 10 years has made a living selling semi-conductors out of his one-man office in the northern Sydney suburb of Thornleigh, faces the possibility of extradition to the US and a maximum 25-year jail sentence.

"Mr Levick admits to selling material destined for Iran - mainly helicopter parts - but strongly denied he knew he was flouting the law. 'I didn't know there was a thingamajig against them', Mr Levick said, referring to the raft of UN, EU and US sanctions imposed on Tehran.

"A 21-page grand jury indictment... however, argues otherwise. According to the US government, between March 2007 and March 2009 Mr Levick knowingly and wilfully conspired to circumvent the trade ban and defraud the US government. The indictment alleges that Mr Levick used his Sydney company ICM Components to procure banned goods from US suppliers using a Florida-based broker on behalf of his Iranian client. 'Defendants Levick and ICM intentionally concealed the ultimate end end-use and end-users of the Restricted Goods (sic) from manufacturers, distributors, shippers, and freight forwarders', the government alleges. The indictment goes on to accuse Mr Levick of misleading his suppliers, telling them the equipment he sought was for use in 'unmanned helicopters that survey rural Australia' or for 'BHP Billion (sic), a mining company in Australia, for use in either Malaysia or Papua, New Guinea (sic)'.

"It includes an email Mr Levick allegedly sent to an Iranian client in late 2008 saying he had been raided by Australian authorities and US customers. Mr Levick denies any wrongdoing.

"His troubles began in 2007 when he received an email from an Iranian man representing a company called SkyLife Worldwide. The sender of the email, whom Mr Levick declined to name, claimed he had been trying to contact a company in Austria. Austria, Australia. It seemed like an honest mistake, Mr Levick thought. 'A sale's a sale as far as I was concerned', he said.

"Among the items the firm wanted were helicopter rotor blades, brake bearings and helicopter lights, all of which Mr Levick duly procured. But what Mr Levick claims not to have known is that SkyLife was part of an elaborate network of Iranian front companies whose real purpose, according to the US State Department, was to procure parts for Tehran's illicit weapons program."

You'll note again, Bob, that's not alleged "illicit weapons program".

"He said the first hint he had that things were not quite above board was when he was contacted by ASIO in 2007. 'I got a phone call from ASIO saying, 'Come to the office, please', Mr Levick, 50, said. 'I was just about to do my Christmas shopping'. Armed with a warrant, ASIO officers seized Mr Levick's computers and began quizzing him. 'They came out for an interview and said, 'Look, you can't sell all these sort of parts to them'. So I said, 'OK'. Then they asked me all the same questions, who I was supplying them to, where they were going to'. He then halted all pending transfers to Malaysia, which included an emergency flotation kit for a helicopter and miniature gyroscopes, which, among other things, can be used to stabilise target drones, missiles, torpedoes and remotely piloted vehicles. Mr Levick said he never heard from ASIO again.

"However, in a September 2008 email, one apparently sent after the ASIO visit, Mr Levick told his Iranian client of the authority's suspicions.

"He has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the US and breach the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Arms Export Control Act. The claims against Mr Levick drew silence from the Australian government yesterday. ASIO would not confirm it had raided Mr Levick. Nor would it say whether it had supplied information to US authorities or if that information now formed part of the criminal case against Mr Levick."

Can you please get to the bottom of this, Bob, or is what you just said to Geraldine Doogue on Radio National's Saturday Extra program this morning about your Doctrine So Far - "That's a commentary from a private citizen. I now speak for Australia" - your get out free card?

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